Brocade assimilates McData, products

Brocade last month said it had finalized its US$973 million buyout of rival storage switch maker McData and outlined a plan for what stays, goes and gets integrated among their products.

The companies, which have been feeling the heat from Cisco since the networking giant entered the Fibre Channel storage market in 2002, now as a combined entity hold the biggest shares of the director-level and Fibre Channel switch markets.

But Brocade and McData did have a fair amount of product overlap, which the combined company has now sorted out.

Going forward, all products will be sold under the Brocade brand name. The three director-level switches — Brocade’s Silkworm 48000 Director, and McData’s Intrepid 6140 and i10K — will continue to be sold, though Brocade will mainly push the 48000. As 8Gbps Fibre Channel technology is introduced in 2008, the three systems will be merged and interoperate with existing systems. Folding the McData products into a new offering will enable Brocade to keep McData’s Fibre Connection and Enterprise Systems Connection mainframe connectivity technology alive.

Brocade’s fixed-port Fibre Channel switches — the 200E, 4100 and 4900 — will replace McData’s Sphereon 4400 and 4700 switches, which will be phased out this year, though supported.

Brocade has chosen to adopt McData’s Enterprise Fabric Connectivity Manager (EFCM), which already can be used to control Brocade, McData and Cisco switches. The company will keep the Brocade Fabric Manager around until it is integrated into EFCM in the first half of 2008.

Brocade will also keep its SAN Health Family of products that include a free storage-area network (SAN) diagnostic utility and two subscription-based diagnostic services.

The company plans to consolidate its SAN routers — the Brocade 7500 SAN Router and FR4-18i Director blade — and phase out McData’s 2640 and 1620.

The McData UltraNet Edge Storage Router and UltraNet Edge Storage Director eXtended 6 and 12 will continue to be sold, though rebranded as the Brocade Edge M3000 and USD-X6 and USD-X12.

The company will discontinue McData’s blade server modules and continue to offer its own blade switch modules for HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens and Hitachi blade servers . It will discontinue its Application Services Module, though continue to sell its Brocade Application Platform virtualization products.

Also being discontinued is the McData Virtual Tape Library and SpectraNet WDS Accelerator, a product McData has OEMed from Riverbed.

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